How To Find Silver Coins in Everyday Pocket Change

You might have a $3,000-worth penny inside your pocket and you’re still thinking you have a cent. Take a closer look at your coins and you might just find a treasure. Some of the coins you have might contain precious silver.

Below are some characteristics of silver coins that are still in circulation:

  • Made out of silver. Silver coins are called that way because of their silver contents. Dollar coins, half dollars, quarters, dimes, and nickels were originally made up of silver and another metal. Collect these coins for closer assessment using other qualities as your guide.
  • Check the date. Silver coin production was stopped in 1970. So coins made on or before that year have silver contents. Nickels made from 1942 to 1945 have 35% silver. Dimes made from 1916 to 1964 have 90% silver. Quarters made from 1932 to 1964 have 90% silver. Half dollars made from 1916 to 1964 also have 90% silver while those made from 1965 to 1970 have only 40 percent. Dollars produced from 1878 to 1935 have 90% silver and those made after 1935 up to 1976 have only 40% silver.
  • Look for the “S.” Some coins have the “S” mark to determine that they are mint. Separate these coins from your regular coin for further examining.

The older the coin, the more valuable it is not only because of more silver content but because of its antiquity. Be aware also of the current worth of the old coins that you have. Nickels can cost about $0.89 each, dimes are at $1.13 each, half dollars cost about $2.31 to $5.65 each, and dollars cost from $4.95 to $12.08 each.

Besides the silver content and antiquity, coins can have more value depending on its condition. A 1925 dollar could be worth less than a 1935 dollar if the latter has better condition.

Besides concentrating on silver coins, look for rare coins, too. They are valuable because you can’t find them in abundant pieces. Here are some rare coins you should watch out for:

  • 1943 copper penny. The last auction for this coin went up to $200,000. This is considered rare because instead of copper, it is made out of steel and covered with zinc. There are only about 40 copper pennies in circulation.
  • 1955 double-die penny. There are about 20,000 1955 coins in circulation. Today, one coin already costs from several hundreds to thousands of dollars. What makes them valuable is that they were stuck and coated twice.
  • 1960-P. This is popular as the “small and large date” coin. Check the date if the coin was made in 1960. It costs about $50 if the date is smaller or bigger than the usual. The coin must be in mint condition, too.
  • 1969-S. Check the front of the coin if it is double struck. The mint mark should not be double struck or else, you got the counterfeited coin. The real 1969-S costs today at about $35,000.
  • 1970-S, a.k.a “atheist cent.” The phrase “In God We Trust” in this coin was accidentally eliminated. This coin costs only about $5 but that is already 500 times the coin’s face value.

Who would have thought that a dime or nickel could be worth more than the dollar? It’s time to look at your coins in a different way. Make it a habit to assess your coins before you decide to exchange an 1898 dollar with a box of candies.


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